Date of Award

Spring 3-31-2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Organizational Leadership

First Advisor

Jeffrey Lee

Second Advisor

Cheryl- Marie Osborne

Third Advisor

Sharon Floyd


Purpose: The purpose of the study is to identify the emotional reactions of mid-level managers to executives’ hubris behaviors in a corporate setting.

Methodology: This leadership study uses qualitative phenomenological methodology was executed to explore the lived experiences of mid-level managers with past executives who practiced hubristic behavior.

Findings: The findings of this research on the lived experiences of mid-level managers with hubristic behaviors of executives suggest that the lack of support lessens the mid-level manager’s confidence; with little support; the mid-level manager was either afraid to fight the executive or gave up trying; the mid-level manager faced stress even years later; the mid-level manager was careful not to trigger the executive into outrage; the mid-level manager protected their teams so they did not experience the same emotional reactions the mid-level manager had; the mid-level manager faced uncomfortable challenges pertaining to the unethical acts of the executive; And the mid-level manager held back their creativity in decision-making.

Conclusions: The findings and literature support that mid-level managers should focus on self-compassion and growth in emotional intelligence; gain access to mentors that empower them, reconnect to themselves through self-care and support of positive colleagues; focus on using techniques that will help them communicate assertively; focus on encouraging their teams to be more autonomous, confident, and less reliant on opinions of hubristic executives; And speak up to the leader and create firm boundaries; unite with other mid-level managers to create a better culture.

Recommendations: The researcher recommends that companies debut a mental health and awareness program, build mentorship programs, contract qualified coaches to help mid-level managers and executives, develop the counselors by giving them proper tools to use, create a psychological safety line or platform, create an ethical program, and create a task force called “One.”